This interesting surname with variant spellings Gilby, Gilbee, Gillbee and Gillbey has two possible origins. The first being English locational from "Gilby", a hamlet in the parish of Pilham in Lincolnshire, or from "Kilby" a parish in Leicester. Gilby, recorded as Gillebi in the ancient registers of Lincolnshire (1139), derives from the Old Norse personal name "Gille" plus "byr" a village or homestead; hence "Gilli's homestead". Kilby, recorded as Cilebi in the Domesday Book of 1086, derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "cilda" meaning children, and was also used as a title for a youth of noble birth, plus "tun" a homestead or farm. The second possibility is that the name is patronymic from the male personal name Gilbie, a pet form of Gilbert, deriving from the Old German "gisil-bertha" meaning "bright-pledge". The name was brought to England by the Normans and was common in Medieval times. Arthure Gilbey married Heste Bosse, on November 3rd 1595, at St. Gregory by St. Paul, London, and on June 19th 1626, Dorcas Gilbey by St. Paul, London, and on June 19th 1626, Dorcas Gilbey married Samuell Organy, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Gilbeson, which was dated 1327, in the "Kirby's Quest for Somerset", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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